Developing an effective marketing strategy can involve blending several online business activities into one cohesive communications plan.
With so many catch phrases, focus points, and advice blogs surrounding the topic of internet marketing, it is very easy to get confused on how to develop a formula for getting a business noticed on the web. Collectively, any techniques that promote a brand and drive customer awareness are considered marketing activities.
What about social media like Facebook and Instagram? Yes. Many of the tasks associated with updating profiles and creating posts are part of online marketing.
What about Google pay-per-click ads? Yes. Also a part of the online marketing strategy.
What about email newsletters? Yes.
Company videos? Yes.
Search Engine Optimization? Yes.
The point is, most of the services Ajar Communications offers contribute to internet marketing in some way or another. The secret for any business is to find the right combination of marketing tasks to deliver the best results. This is why marketing a business is challenging. The “successful formula” can be different from industry to industry – And even from business to business within the same industry.
The Marketing Sales Funnel
Our internet marketing philosophy is that each company should discover its own unique method of connecting with its customer base as well as attracting new prospects to take a look at the goods and services being offered.
There is no “one size fits all” marketing plan, however, the goals of the strategy can be considered from a universal perspective, which is to say online marketing should lead potential customers on a logical path to learn more about the company and be invited to conduct business.
If this is a little wide-reaching as an explanation, here’s a practical example to show how the pieces can fit together. Let’s consider a financial services agency. And let’s agree that “XYZ Financial Planning, LLC” has 2 main marketing goals: First, to maintain a strong relationship with existing clients whose family finances are already under management; and second, to attract potential new customers in their community by advertising their quality financial services.
Some of the marketing activities will have a crossover effect of resonating with both audiences. A well-crafted website and regular email newsletter will help existing customers stay informed. These marketing tools can be thought of as “resources” that make it easy and convenient for people to be reminded of XYZ Financials’ services – and give more ideas on how to leverage that relationship to grow their wealth now and in the future.
Furthermore, a company Facebook page and LinkedIn profile will help create or offer a dialogue between the customers and the company as yet another way to interact, get answers and ideas, and most importantly feel “connected” to your organization.
Meanwhile, a well-structured website and social media presence will also be easy for new connections to navigate and “meet” you. The added challenge with potential new customers is that they don’t know about you yet. Using Google pay per click or Facebook advertising will raise awareness with consumers who have never heard of XYZ Financial but may be looking for advice and guidance with their finances.
Paid internet advertising techniques can focus on certain keywords and phrases that are used in searches for a particular product or service. They can also be targeted at people of certain ages, income levels, or other demographics relevant to your industry.
The funnel starts with attracting new people and showing them how to get to the website. Once they visit the website, they will learn what to do next. This could encourage them to call or “Live Chat” with a financial representative – or possibly just signup for the company email newsletter, which is an invitation to continue receiving valuable information, tips, and invitations to company sponsored workshops and seminars.
As you can see, how you invite prospects to interact next really depends on the business and the specific sales process that is being utilized. The magic happens in how we shape the message.
Success also relies on some “trial and error”
Patience is a necessary virtue when it comes to internet marketing. We typically advise clients to step cautiously through a new marketing campaign. By making incremental investments and experimenting in the early stages, we can gauge the results as we go and alter the message as needed.
Sometimes what is a very clear message to us does not resonate with the general public. Once you find a successful response rate, you can increase your ad spend or your investment levels. Ultimately, we are looking for the right formula that ends in a clear and concise call to action.
It’s a lot to manage on your own
Like many other articles out there, this attempt to explain online marketing only scratches the surface and gives you some ideas in which direction to go. In all honestly, internet marketing has so many moving parts, that it would be difficult for the average business owner to cover all of this on their own.
You need allies. Trust us, we can relate to the DIY (do-it-yourself) approach to small and mid-size business. We’re a bunch of guys who mow our own lawns, cook family meals, and from time to time even fix a car.
But, there are other things we don’t do for ourselves, like bookkeeping and accounting. Uncle Sam just doesn’t have a sense of humor about our remedial math skills – no matter how creative we get.
At Ajar, we have monthly services that create a foundation for many of the needed activities for successfully marking a business online. With marketing programs in place, our customers have the peace of mind that even if their own schedule is out of control, then at least some level of internet marketing will happen each month.
When they do find extra time on the calendar, they can also jump on Facebook, make a post, highlight an upcoming event, or just stay connected with their target audience. It’s a win-win scenario that doesn’t have to be cost prohibitive.
Contact us to learn more.